Skip to main content

Reply to this post | Go Back
View Post [edit]

Poster: cosmicola Date: Apr 19, 2009 6:27pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Larry B Films

An interesting thing about Larry Buchanan's anemic mid-60s made-for-TV chillers is that he had little say what the films would be. He was given about $25K per film and a week or so shooting schedule for each, was handed old AIP scripts from the fifties, and told to remake them to help fill out a slim syndication package that AIP was marketing to television.

Under these extraordinary limitations, he cranked out cheap little sci-fi horror films like ZONTAR, CREATURE OF DESTRUCTION, IN THE YEAR 2889, and MARS NEEDS WOMEN. These films were shot on much less expensive 16mm film instead of 35mm, to allow them to be produced in color instead of black and white, as per the requirements of his deal with AIP. These films were made for the most part in Dallas and the surrounding region, and generally one or two actors (John Agar, Les Tremayne, Yvonne Craig, et al) were flown to Dallas for each shoot.

When you take all this into consideration, it's a miracle these films got made at all, especially in a time when even the lowest-budget genre drive-in features from cheap companies like AIP were generally costing around $100-250K to produce.

He was a guerilla filmmaker, and a damn fine one at that, given what he had to work with. Could any of us do better under the circumstances? I don't think so.

RIP, Larry B (1923-2004)!

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: guyzilla Date: Apr 19, 2009 9:00pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Larry B Films

Was "Curse of the Swamp Creature" Really supposed to be a remake of "Voodoo Woman"? Ive seen both movies and unlike other Buchanan flicks I see very little silarity between the two. "Mars Needs Women" also seems to be an original story, but correct me if I'm wrong. Note: in the film "Pajama Pary", the "Eye Creatures" make an appearance (at least the monster suits) a la "Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow",but I don't think it was one of Larry's films. It did have Tommy Kirk, though.

Reply to this post
Reply [edit]

Poster: cosmicola Date: Apr 19, 2009 11:50pm
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: Larry B Films

Hard to say, as I haven't seen Voodoo Woman in ages, but I've read that the similarity is only superficial. It may be possible that Mars Needs Women is a partial remake and/or sequel to Pajama Party, as both are AIP films, but Larry B had nothing to do with Party. We'd have to consult the #1 source of all things Buchanan, namely Rob Craig's book.

The most "original" of the Azalea films was It's Alive! (1969), based on a previously unproduced AIP script by Richard Matheson, written for Peter Lorre and Elsa Lanchester. When Lorre died, the project was shelved, until the script was later dusted off and sent to Buchanan by AIP for his use.